GALLERY: The Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion Is A Live Highlight Reel Of Racing History
Photography by Alex Sobran
Regardless of whether you’re working on a fresh sunburn in the general admission bleachers or donning old Nomex and strapping yourself into a bucket seat to line up on the front straight, vintage racing is a hit or miss way to spend a weekend. The competitor might pack up his trailer on Sunday with car intact and enthusiasm renewed after spending a few days on track with likeminded enthusiasts and special machinery, but he could just as well be muttering expletives and pushing a broken car through the paddock while calculating the cost to repair.
And as a spectator, there are hundreds of these vintage race weekends to choose from each year so there’s bound to be a big spectrum; some overflow with the type of hero cars that defined their time, others are littered with mid-grid Formula 3s and sports cars with less provenance than your garden variety spec-series NA Miata. There’s nothing wrong with hurtling around in a Formula Ford that’s on its third engine or rubbing doors with little old Mazdas that once belonged to little old ladies—according to a hell of a lot of people these are the most fun ways to compete as an amateur driver—but if you’re traveling to the track and paying for a ticket and putting off other plans, you’ll want something with a bit more gravitas.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion has plenty of that. Between Trans-Am Mustangs and Camaros wearing Bud Moore and Penske paintwork getting squirrelly next to each other, ground effect Group C cars chasing their IMSA counterparts down the corkscrew as they drag carbon and fiberglass over the rumble strips, ’70s and ’80s F1 cars dipping and weaving like DFV-powered dolphins, parades of silhouette sports cars barking out downshifts by the dozen, and the ability to find just about every great racing driver from the last century’s name on the doors, there is very little that can compare with the spectacle delivered at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca during Monterey Car Week.